Top Stories

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

AlexisSanchezArsenal2-BorussiaDortmundUCL2014 (Getty)

As we head toward the new year, there is currently only one London club in the English Premier League’s top four. Arsenal and West Ham square off today for a chance to join Chelsea in that select company.

The Gunners travel to East London to take on the Hammers, with the winner having a chance to leapfrog Southampton into the Top Four.

Manchester United has successfully climbed into the Top Four after a rough start to the season, and can secure its hold on third place with a victory against Tottenham in another one of the day’s marquee matches.

If you will be watching today’s soccer action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):


7am- NBC Sports- Tottenham vs. Manchester United

9am- NBC Sports- Southampton vs. Chelsea

10am- DirecTV/NBC Sports Live Extra- Aston Villa vs. Sunderland

10am- NBC Sports Live Extra- Hull City vs. Leicester City

10am- DirecTV/NBC Sports Live Extra- Manchester City vs. Burnley

10am- DirecTV/NBC Sports Live Extra- Queens Park Rangers vs. Crystal Palace

10am- DirecTV/NBC Sports Live Extra- Stoke City vs. West Bromwich Albion

10am- DirecTV/NBC Sports Live Extra- West Ham United vs. Arsenal

11:115- Telemundo/NBC Sports Network- Newcastle United vs. Everton



  1. Anybody know what’s going on with Lampard? Just did a search on for him. Last mention of him there was Nov 24. It’s like they’re /minimizing the embarrassment by erasing him from the record.

    I like Claudio Renya and I hope MLS gives him something to paper over the pile of crape he got handed. MLS got schooled on this one.

    • Here’s my question to you, why does it matter if he comes back now. Everyone is freaking out if he doesn’t come back right now like the MLS season starts next week or something. If man city wants to keep him a little longer let them there’s nothing to complain about unless he misses real games. Besides if I’m City group why not kill two birds with literally with one stone. Lampard can keep city going while YaYa is gone and if he plays well which he has, it boosts his profile when he comes over for the start of the season.

      • Jay,

        The hoo hah over Lampard is largely political and is driven by testosterone level, considerations over perception and dimensional considerations of male reproductive apparatus.

        People with your sensible point of view are not encouraged to participate in that sort of MLS vs EPL debate.

  2. I swear Sunderland must practice missing open net shots. They had at least three in the second half. Granted all the passes were not on the proper foot for the shooter. But they are just brutal.

    • true, perhaps they should practice the set-up pass more. haha, putting it on the proper foot is a good skill to have. Giac had a second half chance that was tee’d up too far in front of him so he had to dive foot first to try and poke it in.

    • Is it crazy to expect a professional footballer to be able to finish with his weaker foot? The forwards on my HS team were expected to be able to strike a ball with either foot.

      • Brett, it is as GW said but also the theory should be that on the highest level the set-up pass should be better. in the battle of “play a better pass” vs “a footballer should be able to finish anything”, the pass comes first thus if the pass is great then it creates a “sure thing”; leaving a simple finish. even a perfect strike with your left foot can be blocked. but if the pass is where it should be it most likely creates an easy shooting lane.

        glad to have you back, Brett. How’s Marcos Alonso doing?

      • Brett,

        It is true that one would expect a pro to be two footed.

        However, it is also true that the key to developing any skill is repetition and it is pretty hard to put the same amount of time into using both feet as it is to get your natural foot really going.

        Still most pros I’ve seen are at least serviceable with their weaker foot.
        And many are close to ambidextrous. David Beckham, for example, is much better with his left foot than most would think.

        But it is silly to expect that Robben, for example, could ever shoot as well with his right as he does with his left. He gave up something to develop that left foot of his.

  3. Citeh shockingly blows a 2-nil advantage with the chance to take the BPL lead staring them in the face. Sunderland can’t find a single goal despite having a man advantage for 40 minutes. Cats supporters love Catt and Larssen, and they undeniably do good work defensively, but you simply can’t have those two knuckleheads pulling the strings in the middle of the park and expect to score goals. There simply isn’t anyone in the middle of the pitch who can make a key pass and the ball just dies

      • He’s been both. started wide with Cesena. Then moved to Juve and “Due to injuries and suspensions to first choice centre midfielders Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal, Conte has played him in a more central role. Juventus won the Serie A title unbeaten that season and reached the final of the Coppa Italia, losing to Napoli.” So he’s seen other success in the middle of the field before. Poyet used him wide last season where he scored 5 times in limited apps. I just feel he checks a big need in area right behind the ST(s). When Poyet used him in the middle last season it was a late sub and for Cattermole in the CDM role which isn’t his strength. Poyet kept saying he “didn’t know where to fit him in his system” which led me to believe he didn’t see him as a CAM, now that he’s given him the chance i believe he will continue to do so.

  4. J. Gomez looked good in the true CM role between Cattermole and Giacc, a lil deeper than the cam. He has a strong foot from distance and usually passes well. I think he and Giacc should get a start with cattermole cleaning up and staying back. this could help create for their forwards and wides. Poyet has used Gomez in that cam role and though he’s had some good showings i think he’s better a hair back as the safety for any player to drop back to and pass or shoot if wide open. its been a lot of Cattermole-Larsson-Gomez when could be more effective as Cattermole- (LarssonORGomez)-(Giac OR Rodwell). subtle change but looked good today and could prove well moving forward should Poyet stick with that.

  5. Cisse, who could have very easily been sent off for Newcastle (looked like it on the one replay I saw, could’ve earned a penalty too based on pulling but looked like he clearly connected with his elbow while swinging), scores the goal to tie the game. That’s nothing if not predictable. Now hopefully he’ll go get the winner too.

    • 3 purposeful elbows that definitely connected. I can excuse the ref for not seeing it if it was behind him, but how did the linesmen miss it?

  6. It make me sad to watch giacc play with sunderland. He’s always lookin to make runs as his teammates pass a soft pass to where he was. They don’t look for the thru. He also just shows he knows how to let the ball do the work. Sunderland need to do more of this. Maybe it’s the Italian style he’s used to playing ? FWIW, hen sunderland are in possession today they look calmer since Giac is on the pitch

  7. Guzan is really putting on a show here as Villa is reduce to 10 men for the third time in four matches. How he keeps the villains in these matches, I have no idea.

      • yea, to me it looked like it went just past his fingers to hit the post, thus a shot any closer would have been covered, but yea Guzan with a great match. Pantimillon had a couple too, but he also looked a lil shaky, especially on that flying ninja kick, really could have been a penalty. Benteke was angry, he pulled back cuz a 7 foot gk was flying foot first at him.

    • Context, Villa is down to 10 men just into the second half. Sunderland looking for the away winner. Cattermole subbed on in fist half. Giacc subbed on in second half. Still 0-0 because villa is sitting back and sunderland….. well, are sunderland.

    • You were told? By who? A homeless person on the street? A savvy cab driver? Your talking parrot? The voices inside your head? Jozy’s 8th cousin twice removed? The stuffed piggy on your bed named Jozy Altiboar? The stuffed lion on your bed named Jozy Altiroar?

    • I don’t know if they wanted him, but I said when Sunderland made the move, with Paolo DiCanio, that it was a mistake and Southampton, Swansea, and Everton with Martinez were better fits due to their style (or Ligue 1 or Bundesliga due to general wide open style; La Liga is wide open, but too technical for him even though he scored more goals there in fewer appearances). However, no one was going to match the money Sunderland was paying AZ. I think it was Eur 10 million and other clubs in the discussion offering Eur 6 million (I think that was Lazio – which I am not a fan of due to the historical ultra right tendencies of their fans).

      • +17, I’ve long since said there are other teams that fit his style in the BPL. As long as he doesn’t go to an Italian club…. the racism there for black players is atrocious.

  8. this is when the leaders usually pull away from everyone else. They’re usually the only ones that have squads that can handle the quick turn around in these games this time of year.

      • Actually, I’m spouting rubbish. In checking my facts, I didn’t even realize that the BPL doesn’t take a full winter break like most of Europe. There’s a bit of a controversy over it. They’ve got a full slate on New Year’s, then a week and a half off, then two weeks of matches followed by two weeks off and resuming at the end of the month/beginning of February. Mea Culpa.

      • Yeah, most leagues take time off now, but the EPL doesn’t, and in fact add more games. A lot of teams just played on Boxing Day (just this past Friday) and are playing again today. A lot of people really enjoy this time as it’s kinda crazy doing so many games in such a short amount of time, but I personally think it ruins the title race. Only a few teams have squads deep enough to rotate players and handle so many games all at once and the leaders generally pull away from everyone else in these two weeks. There’ve been many seasons when the race is pretty much decided at this point of the season.

      • Yeah, just google BPL winter break and you’ll get a slew of prominent managers and players complaining about how the lack of break is unfair, particularly against the poorer clubs who don’t have the crazy depth the larger clubs do to withstand the packed slate of matches.

Leave a Comment